At 68, age does not allow her to paint on the mud walls of her village home in Jitwarpur, Bihar, any more, but Baua Devi is one of the pioneers of Madhubani painting, an ancient folk art the region is known for. According to folklore, when the district of Madhubani was gearing up for the festivities ahead of the wedding of Ram and Sita, king Janak, the bride’s father, ordered the villagers to dress up their walls with paintings of mythological events and geometric patterns to celebrate the occasion. Since then, every wedding in the region has followed the ritual, decorating the bridal chamber or kohbar ghar with intricate linear paintings in bright colours. The wall art became a local tradition.